Application Deadline: August 13th 2018
The John Maddox Prize recognises the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.
Sir John Maddox, whose name this prize commemorates, was a passionate and tireless champion and defender of science, engaging with difficult debates and inspiring others to do the same. As a writer and editor, he changed attitudes and perceptions, and strove for better understanding and appreciation of science throughout his long working life.
It pays tribute to the attitude of Sir John who, in the words of his friend Walter Gratzer: “wrote prodigiously on all that was new and exciting in scientific discovery and technological advance, denouncing fearlessly what he believed to be wrong, dishonest or shoddy. He did it with humour and grace, but he never sidestepped controversy, which he seemed in fact to relish. His forthrightness brought him some enemies, often in high places, but many more friends. He changed attitudes and perceptions, and strove throughout his long working life for a better public understanding and appreciation of science.”
The winner of the John Maddox Prize receives £3000, and an announcement of the winner is published in Nature. The award is presented each year at a reception in November.
The nominator should normally be an individual who is familiar with the work of the candidate but self-nomination will be considered in exceptional circumstances. This is a global prize: people from any country and in any field can be nominated.
Individuals can be nominated for any kind of public activity in any of the following areas:
- Addressing misleading information about scientific issue (including social science and medicine).
- Bringing sound evidence to bear in a public or policy debate.
- Helping people to make sense of a complex scientific issue.
The winner is chosen by a judging panel, not by Sense about Science. Judges sit in a personal capacity.
Candidates will be judged on the strength of their nomination based on the below criteria:
- How clearly the individual communicated good science, despite challenges.
- The nature of the challenge(s) faced by the individual.
- How well they placed the evidence in the wider debate and engaged others.
- Their level of influence on the public debate.
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